Blog Post by Rodney A. Wilson
Rodney Wilson is a regular guest post writer on Selma on Leadership. Rodney has been a marriage and family pastor/counselor for almost 20 years. Rodney and Selma have been married for 40 years and they have spoken and written on marriage and family issues for most of their married life.
The arrival of the new year automatically raises the issue of resolutions. To make or not to make – that is the annual question. While we don’t need to enter into a year passively and letting “come what may” merely happen to us, resolutions, however, can be intimidating to some.
So let me take some pressure off of you. Let’s just look at some things you’d like to do this year, particularly in your marriage and we won’t bother with those old resolutions (wink, wink). Here are some areas to consider.
5 Non-Resolutions for Your Marriage:
- Lean in. Commit for the coming year that you are going to do some things to make your marriage better. Make 2017 a year that you and your mate attack the year. Rather than just facing what happens, make it happen. Be proactive as a team to work (and play and pray) together this year. Lean in. Attitude is critical, especially at the start of the year.
2. Look. Ask God to open your eyes to see the person you are married to. As He reveals aspects of your spouse that you hadn’t noticed before (and He will if you have the right attitude), share those insights with him/her. Being noticed in a specific way by your spouse is a good thing and can be powerful in your relationship. So, look and share.
3. Listen and learn. Ask your mate bunches of non-yes or no answered questions. A great resource is Gary Chapman’s and Ramon Presson’s Love Talks: 101 Questions to Stimulate Interactions with Your Spouse. Then, listen to your mate’s voice, not just the sound of it but the heart of what he/she is saying. Learn from it. Seek to be a lifelong student of your spouse. You can learn much with a teachable spirit.
4. List. 2017 is brand new! Arrange a simple date night (a fancy restaurant or dessert in the living room floor after the kids are in bed) to set the strategy. Share the agenda ahead of time to give each of you time to think. The agenda? Name 3 things you’d like to do with your spouse in 2017. This could be traveling to a place you’ve never visited. Seeing a relative you haven’t seen in forever. Maybe taking up a new sport or hobby with your mate. Or leading a church small group together.
You decide, but each of you bring 3-4 ideas to the date night to discuss, calendar, etc. (Ssssh! Don’t tell your mate but this is called planning. It’s our secret!)
5. Love. If you are with your spouse, that is, you are living together and not separated, then love the one you’re with. (It’s the only line in that old Stephen Stills song I have ever been comfortable with!) Ask God to give you even more love for your mate in 2017. He is capable of increasing your already huge love for him/her, or raising a dead love and giving it life again. (Can you say resurrection?) Seek to make 2017 a year of giving, loving and actually enjoying each other’s company. Love. It’s a huge part of what marriage was designed for.Seek to make 2017 a year of giving, loving and actually enjoying your spouse’s company. Click To Tweet
Will you have issues this year? Probably. Conflict? Quite likely. Will your marriage be imperfect in 2017? If you’re like the rest of us.
However, do not let those realities rob you of the joy that lies before you two this year. In the midst of it all, “Two are (indeed) better than one…” (Ecclesiastes 4:9a HCSB). God wants you two to experience the abundant life together this year (See John 10:10). I am praying that 2017 will be your best year of married life yet.